The number of people in intensive care units (ICUs) in Alberta reached 256 on Monday afternoon, the highest level since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic over a year ago.
And Alberta health officials say 79 percent of ICU patients are unvaccinated.
The previous high number of intensive care admissions was 182 on May 18.
Provincially, intensive care capacity was 90% Monday afternoon and officials note that without the addition of surge spaces, that number would be 148%.
The number of patients in intensive care units has increased by 19% over the past seven days, according to AHS.
In the Calgary area, there are 103 intensive care beds, including 37 additional beds. Calgary area intensive care units are currently operating at 85% capacity.
The Edmonton Zone Medical Staff Association issued an open letter on Monday warning the health care system is in dire straits.
Even if immediate measures to slow the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant were effective, hospitalizations and intensive care use would continue to climb for another two weeks.
“We are about to require triage to determine who is receiving life-saving treatment and who is not,” read the letter, signed by eight EZMSA members.
They are all doctors.
The letter says that while there are more intensive care beds available, resources are being taken from heart and cancer surgeries, among others, to staff these beds.
As of last week, COVID-19 cases accounted for 62% of all intensive care admissions. According to the EZMSA, 820,000 Albertans over the age of 12 are still not vaccinated.
The average cost of hospitalization for COVID-19 in Canada is just over $ 23,000, while intensive care stays are over $ 50,000 per person, according to the Canadian Institute for Information on Human Disease. health.
This brings the cost of treating people currently hospitalized in Alberta hospitals to about $ 15.8 million, most of which can be prevented with immunizations.
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